COUSHATTA, La. (WCMH) — A mixed-race family of eight is asking Blue Bell Ice Cream to change the name of one of its flavors to be more inclusive.
The Schmidley family was sitting down to an ice cream party at their house recently and had a flavor called “The Great Divide.” The ice cream is half chocolate, half vanilla.
Mom Traci Schmidley wrote on Facebook that her family began talking about the name of the ice cream. They came to the conclusion that “some people might misunderstand the name and think the name the Great Divide is about people and the division that exists in our world because of different skin colors.”
The family suggested a new name: “Better Together.”
“We are all our own color and own flavor and there is no divide between us. We think we are all delicious in our own ways,” Schmidley wrote.
The post has been shared more than 12,000 times on Facebook since this writing.
Schmidley, who is a teacher, says she hoped the post would teach her kids a lesson about the power of their voices, and she never expected to see it go viral.
“We weren’t whining or complaining or ‘demanding change,’” Schmidley wrote on a blog. “The children are 8, 10, and 11-years old. They are precious people, with beautiful hearts, who just didn’t think the name ‘great divide’ was the best name for something as wonderfully unifying as Blue Bell ice cream. So, they humbly, respectfully, and politely presented another idea, an idea that I feel shows us where our nation is heading.”
Blue Bell did see the post and sent the family a letter with glowing praise for the children’s effort.
“We were amazed when we read the letter, by their thoughtfulness and their compassion for all people, and we are humbled by their love of our ice cream. We are so impressed by them and commend Traci for providing the environment where an important conversation like this can take place,” Blue Bell’s director of communications told Yahoo News.
Despite liking the idea, the ice cream maker would not comment on whether it would actually change the name of the flavor.
“We created Great Divide so that families didn’t have to choose between two favorites but could enjoy both Homemade Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate in one container!”